FEATURE ISSUE OF SITELINES MAGAZINE (Oct 2016): Green+Blue Infrastructure: Global Issues, Local Initiatives (and Some Rebranding!)

A Blue-Green City aims to recreate a naturally oriented water cycle "When I started, I believed the articles would focus on the technical and environmental aspects of green infrastructure as it relates to water quantity and quality," wrote Julie Schooling, co-editor, October 2016 issue. “And yet every author has emphasized how intertwined the social and economic dimensions of our ‘watershed assets’ are with their ecological benefits.”

FLASHBACK TO 2008: Water Balance Model Case study applications at three scales were showcased at capacity-building forum hosted by Cowichan Valley Regional District (Oct 2008)

“The case study applications built a common understanding of how to achieve runoff-based performance targets for rainwater management and green infrastructure,” stated Rob Conway. “What is unique about our approach is the educational context. Willing owners/developers and their planning/design consultants volunteered to develop and share the case studies. It truly is a collaborative effort.”

New stormwater utility bills flood Victoria homes, businesses

"Every single cent that is flowing into the stormwater utility bill is taken out of property taxes. It’s fair, it’s rational, and it’s very forward-looking," Mayor Lisa Helps said. “We are working together to create a liveable and vibrant City, and part of that is building more resilience in our communities. Only by boosting the performance of our infrastructure, will we be able to adequately plan for future risk from a changing climate.”

Leading Change in Metro Vancouver: A focus on Green Infrastructure Services embeds ‘green culture’, spurs innovation, in the Township of Langley

“The Township of Langley is a community of 113,000 of which 75% of the land area is within the Agricultural Land Reserve. This presents a delicate balance between the preservation of agricultural land and the continued pressure for urban development," stated Councillor Charlie Fox. "It is within this context that the staff and Council champion the theme of harmony and integration as we endeavour to focus on ‘green’ initiatives and programs."

Leadership & Innovation in Victoria: “Creation of the Stormwater Utility and Rainwater Rewards Program is a significant milestone in a journey that leads to a water-resilient future,” wrote Kim Stephens in an Op-Ed for Victoria Times-Colonist

"It took generations to short-circuit the water balance in Victoria. Similarly, it would take generations of landowners incorporating rain gardens in redeveloped properties in order to mimic the function of natural systems, and restore the water balance while meeting their drainage needs," observed Kim Stephens. "The phrase 'cathedral thinking' aptly describes the long-term commitment that would be required to achieve the City’s design with nature vision for sustainable rainwater management."

YOUTUBE VIDEO: The Well-Tempered City – use nature instead of the brute force of steel and concrete to mitigate flooding and harmful runoff, advocates visionary Jonathan Rose

Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament” as a way to achieve harmony, Jonathan Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. He advocates using green infrastructure to mitigate damage from destructive storms. "What's so compelling about natural systems solutions is that they not only save costs but also improve the quality of life," he contends.

Hydrology Rules! – protect the integrity of water balance pathways

In the 1990s, Bill Derry (photo left), the founding chair of the Washington State stormwater managers committee, and Kim Stephens led a workshop program for B.C. municipalities and provided cross-border sharing of stormwater research. They created what became known as the “fish pictures.” These graphics translated science and and set the stage for British Columbia to move towards sustainable watershed asset management.

LEADING CHANGE: Water Balance Pathway to a Water-Resilient Future (Sitelines Magazine, June 2016)

“In this special issue on a Water Balance approach to community development we explain that the natural pathways by which rainfall reaches streams are nature’s 'infrastructure assets'. They provide Water Balance Services that blend with services provided by engineered assets (infrastructure). We start out at a high level, present tools developed by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, and conclude with a watershed focus," wrote Kim Stephens.

LEADING CHANGE: Tufts University hosted conference on “Restoring Water Cycles to Reverse Global Warming” (Oct 2015, Massachusetts)

Even with elevated greenhouse gases, water can cool the biosphere and address destructive feedback loops in the climate system. "Water and soils are deeply connected, and many water problems are a result of land desiccated and bare due to human mismanagement. The good news is that we can turn droughts and floods around by restoring soils to health and bringing back ecosystem biodiversity. And it can happen remarkably quickly - nature celebrates life!", states Adam D. Sacks.